Neal Boortz: Election may have saved pensions too

We had a bit of a voter revolution in Massachusetts over ObamaCare Tuesday. The people simply didn’t like it, and they were more than a little fed up with The Community Organizer trying to cram it down their throats with the assistance of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

Scott Brown may mean a lot more to you than thwarting nationalized health care. He may save your retirement.

Let’s back up about 16 years to 1993. We’ll search the hallways of Bill Clinton’s Executive Office Building until we find the office of Alicia Munell. If you were to look for Ms. Munell right now you would find her at Boston College where she is the director of the Center for Retirement Research. Back in 1993, however, you would have found her working as an adviser to President Clinton on some retirement issues. More specifically, she was working on ways to tap into American’s privately held pension, retirement and 401(k) plans.

The idea was to put the dollars buried in those plans to some political advantage. Fact: Big-government types hate it when they see vast sums of wealth they can’t use to buy votes.

Munell had two ideas: one you’ve probably heard of, another that I’m guessing escaped your attention. Munell’s most ambitious plan, the one few people know of, was to pass legislation that would call for an outright seizure of 15 percent of the outstanding balance of every existent pension fund and 401(k) plan. It would be a simple one-time tax. The argument would be that these “fortunate” people with all of these retirement plans needed to pay their fair share to insure that the “less fortunate” Americans, those without retirement plans, could have a chance for a comfortable retirement, too. The people would be told that the money would shore up the Social Security Trust Fund. Truth was it would be used to buy votes for Democrats.

Munell’s other plan was something called Economically Targeted Investments (ETIs). Yeah, now that’s ringing a bell, isn’t it? Instead of seizing your pension, the government would merely tell you where the funds had to be invested — “union-friendly” corporations, for instance.

What happened to these grand plans?

The ballot box, that’s what happened. The voters rebelled, and the Republicans took control of the House and the Senate.

So now we’ve had another voter rebellion. Has this rebellion possibly stopped another raid on your retirement funds?

Well, consider this the grandfather of all ETIs. Some started to smell a rat when the Obama administration started talking about ways “how the government can encourage workers to turn their savings into guaranteed income streams.”

Well now, just how would you do that? Where are the “guaranteed income streams”? Well, Treasuries, for one. Treasuries, or T-bills, are the principal way the federal government finances its debt.

It seems that some buyers of these Treasuries are getting cold feet. China, for instance, cut its Treasury holdings in November of 2009 by almost $10 billion.

Well, we certainly can’t force China to buy more Treasuries. But maybe the government can force YOU! That’s right; you’re catching on now. The ultimate ETI. This whole thing about “... turning savings into guaranteed income streams” may be a pretext for forcing you to take money from retirement funds to buy U.S. Treasuries.

So tell me. How would you Obama fans like that? How would you like for an agent of The Imperial Federal Government of the United States to come to you and tell you that 50 percent of the money in your 401(k) plan had to be withdrawn and invested in Treasuries. It was in the works, folks. Perhaps the 2010 Massachusetts voter rebellion turned this one aside as well.

As they say: Elections have consequences.

Neal Boortz's column will appear every Saturday. For more Boortz, go to boortz.com .

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